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  1. #1

    MI - Amber Morris, 30, dead in car trunk, Saginaw, 30 April 2016

    Amber Morris, 30, was found deceased about 8 p.m. on April 30 in her car trunck on Saginaw's West Side.

    Amber's sister said someone was seen driving her sister's red Chevrolet Lumina Euro shortly before the family found the vehicle. She had been missing since Thursday night.

    "She left my house Thursday night and said she was going to a party and we haven't heard from her since."

    The family searched for Amber Morris and had even driven down the road where her car was found but did not see it there. They were later alerted that a car matching her sister's was now at the location on North Bond near Monroe.

    Amber Morris has two sisters and a 13-year-old son.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Prosecutors have issued a murder charge against the stepfather of a Saginaw woman who was found dead in the trunk of her car.

    Ralph H. Cottenham, 50, is charged with an open count of murder in the death of 30-year-old Amber Morris. Cottenham served 15 years in prison for stabbing a woman in 1996...

    The issuing of the charges came after Saginaw police about 12:30 p.m. Thursday executed a search warrant at Cottenham's home at 1727 N. Charles, which is about a half-mile from where Morris' body was found and is listed in Cottenham's warrant as the location of Morris' death.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Saginaw man found guilty of strangling step-daughter, stuffing body in trunk


    Ralph H. Cottenham, 51, was found guilty of second-degree murder Monday, March 13, in the death of 30-year-old Amber Morris. The verdict was handed down before Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson around 11:30 a.m. on the morning of the second day of deliberations.

    "I wish it would've been premeditated, but I mean I'm happy that he did get a guilty verdict," said Morris' sister, Holly. "I just hope that he gets a big sentence. I don't think he should ever be allowed to be out here so that he can get a chance to hurt another woman."

    Prosecutors charged Cottenham with a count of open murder. The charge includes first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But jurors opted for the guilty verdict on second-degree murder.

    While Cottenham's criminal past didn't factor into the trial, it will provide a basis for sentencing.
    Cottenham's attorney, Matthew Frey, said he believes his client didn't kill Morris but, rather, aided in concealing the crime.

    Frey said he thinks it was Cottenham's son, Cody Sweet, who committed the crime.

    "I think Cody was the murderer," Frey said. "I think Ralph was an accessory after the fact."

    Sweet provided valuable testimony about the night Morris died in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    60 years for man who killed stepdaughter and stuffed her in trunk


    Ralph Cottenham will spend at least 59 more years behind bars before he can become a free man. He would be more than 100 years old.

    According to the sister of the victim he was convicted of killing, it is exactly what he deserves.

    "I'm satisfied," said Holly Morris, whose sister was found dead in the trunk of her own vehicle on April 30 of last year.

    Saginaw County Circuit Court Judge Darnell Jackson sentenced Cottenham to 60-90 years in prison with credit for 331 days.

    "You were convicted of second-degree murder, but from the evidence, it should be first-degree," Jackson said.

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